Den Danske Sprogskole – the Danish Language School – is the new additional name that the Danish company Thai Integration has taken to clarify its core services: Danish language training.
At the same time, the school has also strengthened its competence with the employment of three new staff, Louise Olsen and Surat Khongthai, who both have professional educational backgrounds from Denmark, and John Olesen, who brings with him a wealth of knowledge about Thailand from a Danish expatriate position.
“We feel that Thai Integration is now ready to emerge as a fully flexed language institute offering currently Danish language training for Thais and Thai language training for Danes but later offering also related language services and other related services,” says Allan Nielsen, who is founder of Thai Integration ApS and spouse of the sole owner of the Thai company, Vilai Promsan.
During the early years of the company, Thai Integration accumulated knowledge of the need in the Thai marketplace for its services by offering their language classes for free. Most students were Thai women of all ages who had a Danish fiancee and was about to relocate to live in Denmark, but a few were also Thais employed in Danish companies in Thailand for whom knowledge of the Danish language could be a professional advantage.
During these years, a core staff was Clyde Haumann, who used to assist his students both as a language teacher and as an adviser in the Danish visa application process. When Clyde became seriously ill last year, it became paramount for Allan Nielsen and Vilai Promsan to bring the company up to the next level.
“We had at the time 20 students,” recalls Allan Nielsen.
“We had already started charging a fee for our services and we saw that this was not a hindrance to our further development.”
The business plan, which is now being implemented, positions Den Danske Sprogskole close to the Danish “Hoejskole” Concept.
“The students can stay in a house in the same little street as the language school, and the tuition includes far more than just language. The students are also taught Danish social manners, Danish cooking, the structure of the Danish society and other useful subjects that will help them become more easily integrated in the Danish society, once they relocate to Denmark, if that is their goal. Living and studying together facilitates a strong friendship between the students which then forms the foundation of their future Thai-Danish network,” Allan Nielsen explains.
The mix of the students will also include more aupair girls, exchange students and other professionals.
Future plans for the company includes expanding the classes to offer also Thai language training for Norwegian and Swedish expats living in Thailand or visiting Thailand. A Swedish teacher will also be added to offer the parallel services to Thai nationals interested in learning Swedish language and culture as is today the case for Denmark.
Allan Nielsen’s company in Denmark is training and re-integrating Danish people into the Danish work-force when they for some reason have become long-term unemployed. Many of these have over the years been foreigners who have become Danish citizens but have dropped out of the work-force. As such the Thais can also be assisted by Thai Integration with their integration process once they have relocated to Denmark
The new team
John Olesen was employed as the F&B Manager at a hotel on the island of Bornholm in Denmark, when he first met Allan Nielsen, who was the owner of the hotel. It was from this position, that Allan Nielsen later recruited him for his current position at den Danske Sprogskole. Apart from John Olesen spending most of the winter months in Thailand during the past 25 years, he has also previously been involved in business in Thailand when he helped establishing a resort in Kanchanaburi.
Louise Olsen holds a degree in language psychology from University of Copenhagen. This is a cross-disciplinary education combining language training with psychology and social science. She has previously worked as an English language tutor in Seoul and last summer she trained a team of Indian nurses in India in Danish language and culture before their departure for Denmark.
Surat Kongthai came to Denmark as a five year old to live with his Thai mother and her Danish husband, which explains his Danish second last name, Hart Hansen. He studied Nordic languages combined with Thai at the Asian Institute under the University of Copenhagen and already when he was a student he started teaching Thai language to other Danish students at the institute. Surat thus bring a solid experience in this field to his new job at Den Danske Sprogskole.
And then – just as this new team had been picked – Clyde Haumann got well and is now back on the team as a strong guarantor for continuity and know-how.
Last, but not least it should be mentioned that even the chef and matron of Den Danske Sprogskole, Khun Saveerawan Seerup, is Danish related as indicated by her Danish last name. Her husband lives in Nykoebing Mors but years of legal complications has prevented the couple from being able to live together. Instead she is a core staff of the “hoejskole” and typically becomes the first friend of the Thai students who move to live at the school.